9 Leadership Myths Dispelled
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Ronald Reagan
Leadership is an important management skill in which a person can motivate and inspire others to reach a common goal. This skill is important in corporations, as the leader is responsible for maximizing and integrating the potential of available resources including human resources. There are some misconceptions and myths about leadership, which we’ll review here.
Myth no.1: Leaders are born and not made.
This is the most common myth about leadership. Some people do have innate leadership qualities, but generally circumstances surrounding people make them effective leaders. Identify some qualities that you think an effective leader has; then determine if one is born with those qualities. For the most part, the answer will be no.
Myth no.2: Leaders are meant only to give orders.
This is not true. It is true that leaders give orders, only because their position requires them to do so. They usually inspire others to do what they have to do. Leaders get people to do what they want them to do because they make the person want to do it.
Myth no.3: You grow into better leaders as you get older.
There is no age for becoming an effective leader. Anyone can become an effective leader based on his or her previous experiences and not necessarily
with their increasing age. As you grow and develop as a person, you grow as a leader.
Myth no.4: Leaders have an impressive personality.
This is not necessarily true, though at times, it does attract people. Leaders have the ability of influencing others, even if they do not have an illustrious personality.
Myth no.5: Leaders possess charisma.
This is partially true as while charisma is not the absolute quality of a leader, leaders are usually followed for their hard work, ideas, integrity and commitment.
Myth no.6: Leaders do not make mistakes.
This is not true as leaders are human beings, and make mistakes like all humans do. In fact, some of them may make more mistakes than others because they take more challenges than others do. The difference with leaders is that they admit their mistakes, and learn from them.
Myth no.7: Leaders have all the authority.
This does not always hold true as their actual effectiveness as a leader is measured by their ability to get others to follow them without actually wielding their authority. They utilize their personal power. They resort to using their authority only in a crisis. When the crisis is over, they go back to utilizing their personal power. They understand that if they overuse their authority they will diminish their power.
Myth no.8: Leaders know everything.
Again, not true. While it may seem that leaders know everything under the sun, it’s only a vision and sense of direction that they harbor. They too have to keep learning, and they understand they can learn from those around them…no mater what rank the other has.
Myth no.9: Leaders do not delegate the important work to others.
False. Leaders do delegate important work, but based on the competency of the person. It is their skill and ability at delegating the right work to the right person to ensure a job is successfully carried out. It is their job to share work and responsibilities judiciously to get the work done. This does not undermine their credibility but in fact, helps pave the way for leadership development in others and helps new leaders emerge.
Leadership begins with self-leadership. Continual self improvement will lead you to a brighter future. Determine what leadership qualities you would like to develop then create a plan to achieve them. Let me know if you need help.